Ford Motor Co. donates thousands of COVID-19 face shields to US military

Ford Motor Co. has finalized an agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense to donate 200,000 face shields to military bases across the U.S. and abroad to protect against the coronavirus. The face shields are constructed from car parts and made in Michigan as part of Ford’s response to the pandemic crisis. Now they have been shipped around the world to locations including Fort Hood in Texas, the New Hampshire National Guard, the U.S.S. Ford aircraft carrier, Afghanistan and Syria, according to the Dearborn-based automaker. “We know that our military has to stand ready to fight, regardless of COVID-19, and we just wanted to make a donation giving back to our service members,” Vanessa Benson, Ford’s military ambassador and a retired Army colonel, told Fox News. The Department of Defense officially accepted the donation on April 28 deeming the face shields will be in the best interest of the military, according to a letter to Ford from Under Secretary of Defense Ellen M. Lord viewed by Fox News. “This gift will benefit the Department by helping to protect DoD non-medical personnel participating in FEMA COVID-19 response operations,” Lord wrote. The Defense Department valued the face shields at $5 each so Ford’s donation was worth an estimated $1 million. Fort Hood, Texas, already received 50,000 face shields and West Point, N.Y. got their shipment of 30,000, which Ford hopes will be on display when cadets come back to campus and congregate on June 13 for their graduation from the U.S. Military Academy. President Trump announced he will be the commencement speaker. “We hope to see them use [the face shields] for their graduation in June,” Benson said. During the pandemic, Ford Motor Co. had to stop making automobiles for the first time since World War II, but reconfigured some of its southeast Michigan plants to make personal protective equipment and ventilators. Trump visited the Ford plant in Ypsilanti Township on Thursday to thank the workers who stepped up during the crisis and returned to work to make life-saving equipment. “In our nation’s war against the invisible enemy, the hardworking patriots here today answered the call to serve. You proved that the American worker is … ‘Built Ford Tough,'” Trump told the Ford workers, in a nod to the company’s slogan. “… You’ve made America proud and you’ve made Ford proud. And America is very proud of Ford.” Ford started manufacturing the face shields March 23 at the Troy Design and Manufacturing in Plymouth Township, Mich. They’re made by automobile workers who volunteered to come back to work for the special project during the pandemic when in some cases they would have made more money staying home on unemployment. In all, more than 1,000 Ford employees signed up to work at four southeast Michigan auto plants that have been converted to make ventilators, masks, respirators and face shields. Since then, Ford has produced more than 18 million face shields, at a rate of about one every second to help essential workers and health care professionals during the pandemic. Ford shipped more than 15 million face shields to all 50 states and Puerto Rico to help with the growing need for personal protective equipment. May is National Military Appreciation Month and the face shield donation is an extension of Ford’s ongoing military and veteran outreach campaigns, known as Proud to Honor. “For this Memorial Day, we want to thank all those that are serving and, most importantly, remember all those that we have lost because freedom isn’t free in this country,” Benson said. “And we’ve had a lot of people who’ve had to sacrifice for us to have our freedom.”

Indeed..  Major kudos to Ford for stepping up like this.  Excellent!!    🙂

Dirty cars are a major dating turn-off, survey finds

When it comes to relationships, seven in 10 believe having a dirty car is a turn-off, according to new research. A poll of 2,000 American drivers discovered that over half (51 percent) would go so far as to end a first date early if their date showed up in a dirty car. In fact, having a messy car is such a massive turn-off that 23 percent have even ended a relationship with someone because of their filthy vehicle. The study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Meguiar’s, aimed to discover how people feel about their dirty cars and uncovered nearly half (49 percent) of respondents admit to having a messy car. Whether it’s old food wrappers, dirty blankets or expired drinks, 68 percent of those with messy cars are completely embarrassed to have people in their car, given its filth. Yet 45% said containing the mess in their cars is overwhelming. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) said they avoid cleaning their cars because they know it’ll just get messy again shortly thereafter. Forty-one percent don’t think it’s all that important to have a tidy car while a further one in five don’t even know where to begin when it comes to cleaning their cars. And another 24 percent would much rather clean their toilet than have to tidy up their car. Results revealed 62 percent of those surveyed would rather have a dirty car than a dirty home. When asked about the junk found in people’s cars, three in 10 revealed their cars are filled with crumbs while a further 28 percent said they have empty bottles taking up way too much space in their cars. Three in five respondents said their cars are filled with stuff they need to pursue their passions. “As a brand that’s all about reflecting your passion, we understand that people have a myriad of passions and, sometimes, it’s those passions that can lend themselves to having a messy car,” said a spokesperson for Meguiar’s. “In fact, while some people may not normally be passionate about maintaining a clean car, if they are looking to feel more productive, have a healthier love life or be happier overall, a nice cleaning could significantly benefit them in the long run.” A majority of Americans believe their entire life would be better off if they had tidier vehicles. Seventy-eight percent said a clean car makes them feel like they have their life more together. Results revealed there is actually a connection between your car’s tidiness and how productive people are (or can be). In fact, two in three said they are more productive when they have a clean car. “Just like a clean house or a tidy office space, a clean car often comes with a variety of benefits,” added the spokesperson for Meguiar’s. “By taking the time to maintain a clean car, people reveal their life has positively benefited as a result of their commitment to car tidiness.” TOP 5 THINGS AMERICANS WOULD RATHER CLEAN THAN THEIR CARS 1. Dishes 36% 2. Dusty shelves 29% 3. Kitchen sink 27% 4. Toilet 24% 5. Bathtub 24% TOP 5 DIRTIEST PARTS OF A CAR 1. Floor 41% 2. Backseat 30% 3. Cup holders 27% 4. Dashboard 22% 5. Trunk 22% TOP 5 THINGS IN AMERICANS’ CARS 1. Crumbs 30% 2. Empty bottles 28% 3. Food wrappers 25% 4. Old magazines 24% 5. A blanket 23%

Wow..  Take note and clean you car!    🙂

Average car loan now 70 months as zero percent interest deals grow during coronavirus crisis

The average new car loan term broke 70 months for the first time in March, and it could get longer. Edmunds data showed that 35.3 percent of loans issued last month had terms from 73-84 months, and that’s up from 35.3 months in February. Now automakers are rolling out new zero percent interest, 84-month loan programs as sales crater due to the coronavirus pandemic. General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai and Genesis are each offering such deals on several models for well-qualified buyers, some coupled with deferred payments, and there’s even a zero percent interest, 72-month loan available for the electric Chevrolet Bolt that comes with a $4,750 discount. J.D. Power reported that nearly a quarter of sales completed during the last week in March included 84-month financing, while Edmunds saw the share of zero percent loans of all durations jump from 3.6 percent to 4.7 percent during the month. The average interest rate also ticked up in March, however, hitting 5.8 percent, while loans at 10 percent and higher rates made up 12.8 percent of sales, up from 10.7 percent in February. According to Edmunds, there aren’t many negatives to going with a long-term zero percent loan, as they can typically be paid off early without penalty. But you’ll need a very good credit rating to qualify and have to do the math to make sure it’s better overall than any of the other offers available on the model you’re interested in.

Great news if you’re in the market for a new car!  For more, click on the text above.     🙂

Ford, Nissan, GM Put Tesla Under Pressure with Electric Vehicle Announcements

Ford, Nissan, and GM announced new moves into the world of electric vehicles, creating further competition for Elon Musk’s Tesla. CNBC reports that Tesla shares fell by 3.7 percent this week as auto manufacturers across the world revealed a new interest in electric car manufacturing. Ford chairman Bill Ford stated that the company plans to invest $11 billion in electric vehicles by 2022, hoping to add 40 different hybrid and electric vehicles to their current vehicle lineup. Ford CEO Jim Hackett discussed this with CNBC’s Phil LeBeau at the Detroit auto show on Sunday, saying: “We talked about a huge investment in electric vehicles. We have 16 models that are in design and development. We have a pretty big surprise coming next year.” Similarly, the CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, told investors before the auto show that the company was working on a fully electric version of their popular Cadillac car, which is reportedly expected to be an SUV model. Nissan revealed that all future models from their “Infiniti” luxury brand will be “electrified,” meaning that they will either be entirely electric or a plug-in hybrid model. At CES in Las Vegas last week, Nissan also debuted their new electric car called the “Leaf Plus” which is set to be available for purchase in early spring and will drive approximately 226 miles per charge of its lithium-ion battery. Over the course of the Detroit auto show, Ford shares rose by 1.9 percent while GM’s rose 1.3 percent, Nissan faced technical difficulties when debuting one of their new cars on stage – their share price remained flat. Tesla recently announced that the company will no longer be taking orders for the popular 75 kWh battery version of their Model S and Model X vehicles, with the 100 kWh battery version becoming the standard model. At the same time, CEO Elon Musk promised that future models of their Roadster vehicle would be able to literally fly.